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Babita-like

t
theotherone Oct 14, 2011 10:07 AM

My husband and I had planned on a dinner at Babita tomorrow night to celebrate our anniversary. It is closed for a private party and we are at a loss for a good substitute - we really had our heads around this favorite of ours.

How about some advice for excellent food in an unpretentious setting. Any cuisine is OK, but we prefer clean and simple foods well prepared. We don't drink so rarely even spend the $100 check from my parents - cost isn't too important. SGV, downtown, SM, Hollywood are all close enough for a dinner.

I know they are nothing like Babita in details, but we're mostly after good food, good conversation, and a pleasing setting. We've wanted to try Jitalda, Fig, Mo-Chica, Palate.

Thoughts? Advice?

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Jitalda Restaurant
5233 1/2 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Mo-Chica
3655 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90007

  1. TonyC Oct 14, 2011 10:21 AM

    Jitlada on a Saturday evening will overwhelm your senses (and patience).

    FIG has 50% entire bill 5-6pm (even Saturdays). It's about as pleasing as it goes.

    Mo-Chica is in a strip mall and I always leave feeling broke & hungry. But the food at the neighboring stall by Chichen Itza will appease those seeking Babita.

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    Jitlada
    5233 1/2 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

    Chichen Itza
    3655 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90007

    Mo-Chica
    3655 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90007

    4 Replies
    1. re: TonyC
      k
      kevin Oct 14, 2011 11:36 AM

      which stall there is like Babita? do you mean chichen itza?

      thanks.

      1. re: kevin
        TonyC Oct 14, 2011 12:30 PM

        meant Chichen's food is "like" (and I use the term loosely) Babita...

        1. re: TonyC
          k
          kevin Oct 14, 2011 03:17 PM

          I see. That makes sense.

          They both serve dishes from the Yucatan. And also dole out that delicious if fiery habanero salsa.

          Though sadly Chichen does not serve that infamous Babita dish of Shrimp Tolobomoamppo (sp?, I know I seriously butchered it)

      2. re: TonyC
        westsidegal Oct 15, 2011 01:47 PM

        be aware that Fig is closed on Sunday nights and on Monday nights.

      3. Chowpatty Oct 14, 2011 11:18 AM

        What about Lazy Ox or Spice Table downtown?

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        The Spice Table
        114 S. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

        1. t
          theotherone Oct 14, 2011 02:02 PM

          Thanks. 1/2 price Fig is tempting. We won't try to substitute for Babita since we love it so much - just going for the same kind of feel. Lazy Ox is a good idea and haven't heard of Spice Table. What about Barbrix or Elements?

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          The Spice Table
          114 S. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

          1 Reply
          1. re: theotherone
            c
            CulverJack Oct 14, 2011 04:01 PM

            I like Barbrix a lot - great food, really nice folks all around. And some great wine too.

          2. c
            CulverJack Oct 14, 2011 04:13 PM

            This is one you may not have on your radar, but the subject line Babita brought it to mind. Latin, honest, fantastic food and good folks in charge - La Casita Mexicana is a major winner. It's in a far flung location, but worth it.

            They are here -
            http://casitamex.com/

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            La Casita Mexicana
            4030 Gage Ave, Bell, CA 90201

            1 Reply
            1. re: CulverJack
              Das Ubergeek Oct 16, 2011 09:34 PM

              I agree with this recommendation—it's a gem in the rough and worth the drive, and it's chiles en nogada season; theirs is unquestionably the best.

            2. ipsedixit Oct 14, 2011 08:41 PM

              Try n/naka.

              http://www.n-naka.com/

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              n/naka
              3455 S. Overland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90034

              1. m
                mc michael Oct 17, 2011 12:43 AM

                nix Elements--overpriced for what you get.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mc michael
                  Peripatetic Oct 17, 2011 06:57 PM

                  Agree. It could be so much more than it is.

                2. t
                  theotherone Oct 18, 2011 07:07 AM

                  Thanks for a list of some interesting places to try in the future. We ended up at Elements -- the warnings came too late! But we had a really nice dinner and we always enjoy ending up near Vromans. The Thai mussels and snapper were excellent and the chocolate cake got quickly consumed and appreciated. There are certainly places where you get more for $100, but we were quite pleased.

                  Can't wait to try Spice Table when our kids are home at Thanksgiving or Xmas.

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                  The Spice Table
                  114 S. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

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